Family law glossary - A

A

Acknowledgement of service      
A form which acknowledges receipt of divorce documents by a respondent. The respondent must fill in, sign and return the acknowledgement form to Court within 14 days of receiving the divorce documents.  
 
Adjournment     
The postponing of a Court hearing until a later date.
 
Adoption          
An act by which the rights and duties of the natural parents of a child are extinguished and equivalent rights and duties become vested in the adopters. The child then stands in all respects as if born to the adopters in marriage.
 
Adultery           
Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a member of the opposite sex who is not the spouse, while the marriage is still valid. This is a common fact relied on for divorce.
 
Advocate          
A barrister or solicitor representing a party in a hearing before a Court.
 
Affidavit
A written statement of evidence confirmed on oath or by affirmation to be true. The document is sworn before a person authorised by the Court.
 
Affirmation        
Declaration by a witness who has no religious belief, or has religious beliefs that prevent him/her taking the oath. They declare by affirmation that the evidence they are giving is the truth.
 
Ancillary relief  
An application for financial settlement (e.g. maintenance) following the issue of a petition for divorce, nullity or judicial separation.
 
Annul   
To end a valid marriage.
 
Appeal 
Application to a higher Court or other body for review of a decision taken by a lower court or tribunal. The higher court may overturn or uphold the lower Court’s decision. Often, permission (leave) is required for an appeal to occur.
 
Applicant          
The person applying to Court for an order.
 
Application       
The act of applying to Court to ask it to do something.
 
Asset   
Something owned by a person such as a building, a vehicle or money.

loading staff

We're widely accredited for our work - family law

  • Chambers
  • Legal 500

It is our business to deliver legal services that work for our clients, you can trust our specialists to take care of things on your behalf. Over the years our family law team has been recognised by industry awards and accredited for their excellence.

Memberships & accreditations

8.5 out of 10
Trustpilot logo4-stars on trustpilot Based on count 310

We're Great

It is our business to deliver legal services that work for our clients, and you can trust our specialists to take care of things on your behalf.

Our Trustpilot reviews

The level of service that was provided was excellent and one which was professional, understanding and the most important for me was empathy. I myself am a very organised individual and like things done on time without delay, Stephensons understood this and respected what was important to me and for children.
View from a family, children & divorce law client

Are parent's rights protected during care proceedings?

Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 provides that "everyone has the right to respect for private and family life". How is this right maintained when the state intervenes and a care order in respect of the child of a family is made? A care...

Read more

Twitter block 1 tweet

How are you celebrating the Royal wedding?

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle takes place on Saturday, with bunting going up across the nation as we prepare to celebrate with the happy couple. We’d love to see how you’re marking the occasion so if you’re having a...

Read more

Family reorder

  • Victoria Gethin
  • Mike Devlin
  • ​Karen Atkins
  • ​​Gwyneth John
  • Victoria Melling
  • ​Andrew Mountain
  • Amanda Rimmer
  • Donna Roberts
  • Lauren Day
  • ​Tim Galbraith
  • Kath Geere
  • ​Nicola McDaid
  • Jackie Price
  • Ceri Thomas
  • Gillian Tuck​
  • Anna White
  • Laura Simmons
  • Lauren Evans
  • ​Hanna Fayle
  • ​Catherine Gaskell
  • Therasa Kenny
  • Kay Leonard
  • Claire Pilling

We're always here for you

As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.

Find your nearest Stephensons office and arrange a meeting

As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.